News & Analysis

  1. Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 6.11.37 PM

    Embattled Whisper CEO suspends editorial staffers as investigation into privacy scandal continues

    seAs the Guardian newspaper continues its investigation into Whisper’s use of user data, CEO Michael Heyward has suspended members of his editorial team, pending completion of a full inquiry into the allegations. The suspensions, which sources say include Editor in Chief Neetzan Zimmerman, come as Senator Jay Rockefeller has asked for Whisper executives to attend a meeting with his powerful Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. In a statement issued late Friday afternoon, Heyward appeared to confirm…
  3. tech-tv-entertainment

    Qello is quietly building a “Netflix for music films” — and maybe building the future of digital video

    So what will be the big buzzword of 2015? I’m placing my bets on “OTT.” OTT stands for “Over-the-top” and it refers to video and audio streaming services that don’t directly involve a cable company. For example, when HBOGO announced its standalone service this week, the savvy set of observers called it “going OTT.” We know the big players like Netflix and Hulu. But there’s one company that’s quietly becoming a major force in the OTT landscape and it’s helping to shape the…
  4. Alice in Wonderland

    Why I don’t believe in “cinematic” VR

    [Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Armando Kirwin, a former film maker now working on the future of entertainment. The post went through PandoDaily’s usual editorial process. Mr. Kirwin was not paid for this post.] I’m not an expert on cinema. I helped make about a dozen Hollywood films, worked with a VP at Paramount Pictures, and eventually joined Chad Hurley (founder of YouTube) at MixBit. Lately lots of people are talking about virtual reality being the future of cinema,…
  5. wannabe-jihadis

    The War Nerd: How do you deal with wannabe jihadis? An upgrade to business class

    KUWAIT CITY—It’s been a busy week for Canada’s home-grown jihadis. Monday, October 20: Martin Rouleau, a French-Canadian convert to Islam, ran down two Canadian soldiers with his Nissan Altima, then led the RCMP on a chase that ended when he rolled the Nissan, came up out of the wreck waving a kitchen knife, and got himself shot to death “like he wanted to.” Wednesday, October 22: Michael Zehaf-Babeau, also Quebecois and a recent convert, shot a soldier standing…
  7. music-trouble

    Pandora just posted record revenues. So why is its stock down 41 percent since March?

    For years, Pandora has been lumped with Spotify when talking about the profitability struggles of streaming music services. But while it still hasn’t been able to turn profits quarter-in and quarter-out, yesterday’s earnings statement may mean the service has finally turned a corner. In its third financial quarter, Pandora’s adjusted profits doubled to 9 cents a share on its largest revenues yet. While the company still posted an operating loss of $2 million, that’s a huge improvement over the previous quarter when…
  8. Slap on wrist

    JustFab settles deceptive marketing claims with CA district attorneys, pays $1.8M fine

    JustFab is on the short list of the most valuable private tech companies in LA. But the subscription ecommerce giant’s rise to this lofty perch hasn’t been without its share of controversy. The company added to that list today with the announcement of a settlement with two California district attorneys following allegations of deceptive marketing. The issue, according to a joint statement released today by the District Attorney’s (DA) offices of Santa Clara and Santa Cruz, centered around…
  9. Outbreak suit

    Kudos: Uber acts swiftly and decisively to reassure passengers after transporting NY ebola patient

    For all the blame we heap on Uber for its frequent mismanagement of scandals and crisis situations, the company deserves credit in equal measure today for its apparent swift and responsible handling of an encounter with New York state’s first Ebola patient earlier this week. In a statement issued today, the company explains its handling of this incident: We reviewed our records and were able to confirm that one of our driver partners in New York provided…
  11. pando-breaking-news-small

    NBCUniversal to pay $6.4M in lawsuit over unpaid internships

    Courts are getting serious about unpaid internship claims, and now NBCUniversal has opted to pay the piper, agreeing to settle a lawsuit for $6.4 million. [Source: Hollywood Reporter]
  12. Cattle Corral

    Ziptask relaunches to tackle the $480 billion per year outsourcing industry

    With the war for technical talent as fierce as ever, more and more companies are turning to outsourcing. But little has changed in the outsourced labor market in the last 10 years, with most companies in the space seemingly content to throw more bodies, often at ever-declining hourly rates, at their clients’ technical problems. But, particularly for first time users and in the small- and mid-sized business (SMB) arena, this often turns out poorly. Anaheim-based Ziptask, which relaunched its…
  14. asshole

    Surprise! The Internet is chock-full of assholes

    The Internet is filled with assholes who ruin it for everyone else. That’s the takeaway from two seemingly disparate news items — the first that cloud storage service Bitcasa is ending its unlimited plan, and the second that Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee doesn’t like that his legacy is being used to spread “the dark side of humanity,” as the Guardian puts it — published today. (I’m sure that plenty of other things could be included in this list.)…
  15. carvey

    Inventables’ new 3D carver wants to give the maker movement new life

    The last time I spoke to Inventables CEO Zach Kaplan he’d launched the company’s new Easel software platform at SXS, a program designed to take the prohibitively inaccessible complexities of 3D design more manageable. When I reach him this week, Kaplan is laughing. Inventables Kickstarter campaign for its Carvey machine, a tabletop 3D carving machine has shattered its $50,000 target, sitting close to $300,000. As I write, it’s sitting above $400,000. Inventables popular Shapeoko CNC mills were kits that users…
  16. pando-breaking-news-small

    NYPD to receive tech upgrade

    The New York Police Department will be given 35,000 smartphones, and patrol cars outfitted with 6,000 “ruggedized” tablets, as part of an effort to bring the department into the 21st century. The upgrades will cost $160 million over three years; the funding will come from a settlement paid by a French bank. [Source: The New York Times]
  18. elsewhere raises $5M to make something out of Formspring’s ashes has raised $5 million to create what it’s calling the world’s “friendliest social network” out of the question-and-answer site Formspring, TechCrunch reports. The idea is that’s older user-base will be less inclined to bully than younger counterparts — as if teenagers are the only people who become assholes as soon as they go online. [Source: TechCrunch]
  19. antenna

    Aereo uses up another of its nine lives

    It hasn’t been Aereo’s year. The Supreme Court ruled in June that the company’s service, which allowed its users to record over-the-air broadcasts and watch them on their smartphones, tablets, and other devices, was operating in violation of the Copyright Act of 1976 because it was so similar to cable offerings. Then the US Copyright Office said in July that the company couldn’t receive the compulsory licenses that would allow it to continue operating because — get this — it’s…
  20. elsewhere

    Yes, Queen Elizabeth II has sent her first tweet

    Judging from the sheer number of posts on the topic published on this slow Friday morning, it seems like people actually care that Queen Elizabeth II has sent her first tweet. The tweet was sent during the opening of the Information Age exhibit at Science Museum. It was pretty standard stuff. Now let’s talk about literally anything else. [Source: Engadget]

The Week in Review